Skip To Content
Spelman Spring

Student Stories

Class of 2024 Salutatorian: Nailah Johnson

May 2024

Nailah Johnson Spelman College class of 2024 SalutatorianNailah Johnson, Spelman's class of 2024 salutatorian, is a psychology and French double major from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. She says without question, "I had such a wonderful time throughout her years at Spelman."  She has contributed significantly to the College community as a Psychology research assistant, served as a French tutor, and guided young minds through the SpelREADS program.  

After graduation, Johnson will advance her academic career by pursuing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Cornell University. Her research aspirations are dedicated to fostering healthy identity development among Black girls.

In Her Own Words . . .

When reflecting on your academic journey, what experiences do you consider most pivotal to your success here at Spelman? How have these experiences shaped your aspirations for the future?

Having an amazing support system from my professors definitely helped my success. From the very beginning, I knew I could go to them for help on any assignments. That feeling only intensified as I kept going in my studies.

When I became a research assistant and started my honors thesis, I knew I could rely on the professors who guided me -- Dr. Dickens, Dr. Brakke, and Dr. Wiegand -- for support. In those two spaces, I learned more about the research process, which showed me that I had the skills necessary to thrive in graduate school. Even though I don’t know everything now, I have the capacity to learn and grow as I continue my education.

As you embark your next journey, what wisdom would you share with your past self just starting this journey?

I would remind myself to branch out and meet new people. Having a good support system can be so impactful, especially when you encounter rough patches. I would also remind myself to prioritize my self-care and find at least one activity that brings me joy.